Thursday, August 16, 2012

It All Adds Up- A little worrying a day adds to years of stress

"Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything."
American Journalist, Mary Hemingway

What a  powerful perspective this is. How many times has a mistake, an upcoming challenge, a conflict of relationship issue causes you some worry?  What about those worries that take up space in the back of our brain, they are always there just hanging around.  The quote above by Mary Hemingway is so true, if you were worrying 20 minutes a day about something, that adds up to about 9 hours in a month, which is more than 100 hours per year. Some of you reading might be thinking, this is crazy!  We all worry about things. And you are probably right .... there situations and events that will cause us stress and worry, however some folks are more prone to worry more than others. I was at a networking meeting about a year ago and I stopped counting the number of times my seven table mates said the word worry.  By the time we had finished the meal, I had counted the word "worry" 24 times! The challenge with worry is that often people are not aware that worry is consuming. Worry also keeps people stuck in the problem, instead of moving towards a solution. 

In workplaces, times of change, crisis, conflict are a few examples of many when team members may tend to worry. Here's a few strategies to reduce workplace worry and empower people to move to solutions:

  1. Address issues early, don't let them fester.
  2. Encourage team members to talk about their concerns and seek solutions.
  3. Before a workplace change anticipate what the concerns, worries and rumours may be, then, develop a solid communication plan to address these questions and concerns.
  4.  Watch your language. Instead of  saying "I am worried this won't work." you could say "I want this to be successful, let's strategize a few ways to ensure it works." 
  5. Learn to Let It Go! If you make a mistake, forgive yourself, fix it and move forward. If you forgot to do something, simply do it, forgive yourself and move forward.
  6. Focus on your Bounce Forward (TM) response- moving forward not back in times of change, challenge, crisis and adversity.
 Reducing worry in your life and in your team, can reduce ongoing stress, improve morale, ensure the effectiveness of decision making, and add years to people's lives.

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  1. Wowo Charmaine. So Timely. I love how you rephrase the worry in to I really want this to work and how can I strategize... such an awesome perspective.

  2. I love this post. I was just worrying about something. It is posts like this that keep me focused and changed my way of thinking. I agree with Shelley's comment. We need to re-phrase our "worry" and thinking positive for positive results! Thanks!

  3. Oh my goodness! I do a whole lot of good thinking about and for myself. But I am a constant worrier. I tend to wash over it like I'm a wonderer and analyzer, but truth is, it's worry. I carry stress with me always over so many different things. I out to sleep with this post and do some osmosis. Thank you!


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